Excerpt: Chapter One
I had spent most of my working life as a drone. A well-educated, high performance drone, to be sure, but a member of the hive nonetheless. My prime directive had always been to blend in, to participate, to conform. This required a high level of attention to the details of others. The needs of others was my call to action.
Nothing was impossible. For a dedicated programmer in the state’s Federated Alliance for Increased Learning—a monolithic disturbance on the genitalia of corporate indifference—a request was nothing short of an order, failure not an option. The User’s need was my personal challenge. Programmers can do anything.
Any task can be automated.
How things changed that fine spring day.
Let me start at the beginning.
Mr. Randolph walked into my cubicle, my ten by ten grey enclosure, in much the same fashion as on any other day. He assumed the official State Worker position, leaning against my pretend office wall, right arm bent rigidly at a ninety-degree angle, coffee cup suspended at cooling distance.
“How’s it going?” he asked, the familiar routine now part of his genome. My answer should have been something like “Great” or “Okay.” Instead I said, “Can you be more specific?”
It was unexpected. As in not the anticipated response. Sort of like the blue screen of death, only not quite as dramatic. Windows may be the most popular operating system, but it’s not the most popular operating system.
If you know what I mean.
Mr. Randolph was perplexed at my answer, which was really a question.
Wrapped up in an attitude.
“Well,” he said.
And that was it. I had deviated, and his internal behavioral program lacked the flexibility to adapt. His face contorted mildly as he hesitated, started to say something else, then awkwardly retreated from my cubicle. I sat staring at the place he had vacated, admittedly somewhat bewildered. I was puzzled at his reaction, a little. But I was more intrigued at my own response to his initial query. I had answered his question with a question, and a pretty esoteric one at that.
My own behavior had departed from the norm.
I know now that it was the beginning. The process of awakening had begun, even then, but I was still too numb to realize it. Years of toiling in the obscurity of Kyuboria inexorably dulls the patina of enthusiasm. A shining beacon of zeal is ground into a nub of apathy, which prevails for a long time, perhaps until retirement.
At which time it festers until overtaken by death.
The cube dweller becomes not entirely indifferent, but rather dronish, working regularly and endlessly to advance the cause of receiving a paycheck. It’s not what you’d call a noble pursuit, but it is a pursuit.
Dogs chase their tails. This, too, is a pursuit. After many years they still chase their tails, only more slowly, and with the knowledge that they will never catch their tails. It’s what they do.
In rare cases—very rare cases—a different course is followed. How it happens, or what triggers it, is not known.
Cannot be known.
It is the mystery of Kyuboria.
Somehow, some way, the slumber ends. There is an emergence, the chrysalis of conformity left behind. As the new creature clears the mucous of rebirth from its infant eyes, the world takes shape anew.
This was me.
Then my phone rang.
From the Author
Kyuboria was written in nine months — about the same time it takes to make a human. Although Kyuboria is a work of fiction, the human brain is a wonderful and mysteriously complex organism which stores, hides, processes, correlates, amalgamates, and regurgitates a ceaseless stream of plethorae. Thus, one man's fiction may be another man's amalgamated plethorae.
So what is fiction?
One of the lessons I learned in the process of writing Kyuboria is to find your voice. This is not to say the search is always successful, but it is important to find your natural way of writing, which, incidentally, can change from experience to experience. Reading other writers work can have a strong impact on this process.
What is Kyuboria?
First, how do you pronounce "Kyuboria"?
Kyu sounds like the cu in cubicle.
bor sounds like bore.
ia is like the end of "diarrhea". (Who doesn't appreciate the end of diarrhea?)
Put it all together: cu-bore-ee-ya, with the emphasis on the bore.
Q - Boria
Where does this word come from?
It's a cubicle. It's boring. Cuboria. Alternate spelling: Kyuboria.
Kyuboria is defined as the internal space of my cubicle, and as the collective of all internal cubicle space. It is also a metahpor for a box. People get themselves into all kinds of boxes, some of them physical, some emotional, some situational. The thing to remember is that if you want to get out of the box, you have to learn to think inside the box.
That's what Kyuboria is about. Getting out of the box.
Clint Palmer, the central figure of "Kyuboria", has spent far too much time in the box. His weariness has been honed to razor sharp indifference, tempered by a total lack of interest. He realizes all too well that he must get out, if only to preserve his sanity, but his will to achieve has atrophied to the point of immobility. This is what makes him a cubicle hero, of sorts. No one expects much from him, and yet Clint realizes that to escape he will have to put forth the effort of a lifetime.
He will have to strive. Struggle. Achieve.
He will have to accomplish the unthinkable. He will have to get fired by the State.
This is the pathetically humorous tale of one man's escalating schemes to get fired from an organization that doesn't know how.
PO Box 457
Edinboro, Pa. 16412
Author: William R. Vitanyi, Jr.
Genre: Office Humor
Format: Ebook, Trade paperback
Page Count: 102
Publisher: Bayla Publishing
Availability: Kindle, Nook, Online
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Cubicle humor with a twist. State worker Clint Palmer has spent far too much time in the box, and his cubicle weariness has now been honed to razor sharp indifference. Then one day he learns of a grant that could fund his dream company, but to qualify he must get fired from the State.